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Linn’s New Circuit Boards Versus Old Circuit Boards


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He explicitly told me that this is one of the reasons why they build the boards in-house, instead of ordering a large magnitude overseas as other manufacturers do. The latter approach of course brings down the cost per unit, but makes it impossible to implement improvements rapidly.

Edited by uk030
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Hi All, I happen to be one of the UK people who have heard the differences and have been convinced enough to have upgraded!  My understanding of why's and when's of this change maybe a little dif

Yes, and 2.48m is the optimal speaker cable length...

How could a new Klimax DSM not be Katalyst?

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On 02/03/2020 at 00:29, sunbeamgls said:

I would expect every single board will have needed a physical redesign in order to accommodate the new smaller components and possibly to work with the new soldering technique.

True with respect to the possibillity of using smaller components, but definitely not applicable to the soldering process. The great benefit of a vapour phase is, that it is able to provide the optimal soldering temperature for all PCB components, no matter of their size.

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On 02/03/2020 at 01:29, SeeSaw said:

Upon demonstration, frankly, the improvement of the KDSM/3 to my KEDSM where clear and were to my ears of the same magnitude as the Katalyst upgrade had been to my exakt Akubariks.

I’ve upgraded from an AEDSM to a KSH (introduced in 2018). Nice to have in terms of SQ, but in no way even close to any Katalyst upgrade I’ve heard with respect to SQ and the money spent…

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On 02/03/2020 at 01:29, SeeSaw said:

Quote removed as not officially issued as a Linn public statement.

May I ask what actually caused you to remove the quote stating that improved clocking has been introduced with the KDSM/3 (in 2016) which most likely have taken two years before being implementing in the KEDSM (2018 variant of the KEDSM or the KSH introduced in the very same year)?  If such a change (although Linn seems to officially deny that such a change occurred) needs two years to trickle down, how likely it is that smaller components are used for any existing design which doesn’t needed to be changed for other reasons?

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On 02/03/2020 at 00:16, sunbeamgls said:

Seems a rather strange and somewhat irrelevant direction to take the discussion.

Well, my reply was aimed at

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ive heard that the engineers have developed their understanding of clocking and that has resulted in small improvements

I’ve heard that the earth is flat… Without citing a credible source such a statement is irrelevant to me.

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Just some general remarks:

Linn is a small company with limited development resources. Is „Linn“ (the new control point app) available for Android, Windows or MacOS? No, it’s iOS only because of the limited resources. The same applies to hardware revisions of any PCB already in production. Due to the limited resources, it’s highly unlikely that any existing PCB design will undergo a major change unless a redesign is needed for other reasons, e.g. a component used before becomes obsolete.

It’s just wishful thinking that any possible improvement of the PCB takes place right at the time new options in the production process became available. Katalyst required a major PCB change and if looking at the the time frame it was introduced for various devices, one might get the idea how limited Linn’s development resoruces are.

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And mine says PCAS1014L3R1.

I think that no-one is expecting that you to take what is discussed on a public forum as necessarily empiric evidence of fact - rather that it is a suggestion that it might be worthwhile, should you be interested, in investigating yourself.  I did, I listened and I happened to like the result so I bought. I thought that it would be useful to share my findings.

I removed the quote from a Linn representative as it was pointed out that it was not clear as to whether Linn had given their agreement publicise that quote - and particularly as they do not seem to advertise any such changes.

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13 hours ago, SeeSaw said:

And mine says PCAS1014L3R1.

I think that no-one is expecting that you to take what is discussed on a public forum as necessarily empiric evidence of fact - rather that it is a suggestion that it might be worthwhile, should you be interested, in investigating yourself.  I did, I listened and I happened to like the result so I bought. I thought that it would be useful to share my findings.

Me too. much though I was hoping there wasn’t a difference and I could save money....

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Just to clarify, PCAS1014L2R1 and PCAS1014L3R1 are two versions of the KSH’s main PCB. The main PCB of the 2016 KEDSM has a different PCAS major number (and runs a different firmware variant of Davaar). It would be interesting to know, though, what have been changed between L2R1 and L3R1.

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On 07/03/2020 at 12:46, SeeSaw said:

I removed the quote from a Linn representative as it was pointed out that it was not clear as to whether Linn had given their agreement publicise that quote - and particularly as they do not seem to advertise any such changes.

IMHO it is as simple as that: If you get a reply to any of your questions (as an end customer) from the helpline, there is no issue with citing it anywhere in public, as it’s rather unlikely that you’ve signed an NDA with Linn. Any reply of Linn’s helpline to an end customer is an official reply. Things become more complicated, if you’ve heard something from your dealer.  He might tell you things which are under an NDA. Disclosing it would not cause any liability on your side, but serious trouble for your dealer.

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On 01/03/2020 at 23:29, sunbeamgls said:

On the topic of board redesigns, there will be 2 aspects to this.

1 - physical redesign - I would expect every single board will have needed a physical redesign in order to accommodate the new smaller components and possibly to work with the new soldering technique. It is also possible that the physical redesign and the new machinery delivers some shorter paths or greater component accuracy. Maybe some of these things change the sound.

2 - circuit topology redesign - the new machinery may enable an opportunity to make changes and some of those may give a sonic benefit or not. The need for a physical redesign of the board may have given the opportunity to apply topology changes the engineers had wanted to do for a while, or were able to achieve with the greater effective real estate offered by smaller components. Unless Linn tell us about these on a product by product level, it remains speculation.

Listening is the other option for assessment and will always be open to challenge.

Meanwhile, back to listening to music, with some of the chain on old boards, some of it on new boards and some of it on boards that don't even come from Scotland.

Sunbeam - I am looking at an Akurate Exaktbox that was upgraded to Katalyst in 2018 - would it benefit from the new Linn manufacturing kit mentioned in your post?  Thanks, very excited about going Exakt and Katalyst in one go (Currently with an old Akurate DSM and Kudos 505s)!!

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40 minutes ago, JWT said:

Sunbeam - I am looking at an Akurate Exaktbox that was upgraded to Katalyst in 2018 - would it benefit from the new Linn manufacturing kit mentioned in your post?  Thanks, very excited about going Exakt and Katalyst in one go (Currently with an old Akurate DSM and Kudos 505s)!!

I think all the EBi Katalyst versions will have been built on the new machines, but can't say for sure.  The investment in the machinery was announced in Autumn 2017.

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The Katalyst upgrade I am looking at is from May 2018, if anyone does know if this would be on the new Linn machines that would be very helpful.  Or if there is an easy way to tell if you open up the exaktbox?

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